Friday wrap

Obama Stimulus mandates Jim Crow-era discrimination against non-union, minority workers ... The broadly worded prevailing-wage requirement in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act could cause problems for contractors if they don't do a little digging on the front end. Keith Eastland, an associate at Miller Johnson in Grand Rapids, said the portion of the act that requires "all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by and through the Federal Government pursuant to this Act ... shall be paid (prevailing wages)" is quite broad and unclear. (mlive.com)

Turning AmeriCorps into ACORN: First Lady Rules ... "Just how AmeriCorps is going to be used by the Obama Administration -- and what steps the administration has taken to ensure that it can do with AmeriCorps what it wants -- is at the heart of our concern," says the GOP House staffer. "We think that the removal of Walpin was part of that agenda." It has not gone unnoticed among some Republicans on Capitol Hill that First Lady Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, Jackie Norris, recently stepped down from her White House position to become head of the Corporation for National and Community Service. According to White House sources, Norris and Obama have already discussed how AmeriCorps could fit into the First Lady's volunteerism projects. According to White House sources, Norris's shift to the CNCS was discussed not only with the First Lady, but also with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "Her move was not done just give her a safe landing," says one White House aide. "We have a very clear agenda and a lot of plans for that organization; we wouldn't be giving it the resources that we are if we didn't." Those resources amount to more that $6 billion in funds, and those plans include turning AmeriCorps into a supersized, taxpayer-funded ACORN-like organization, focused on the Obama Administration's policy agenda, including health care reform, targeted stimulus spending, and possible work on the upcoming U.S. census in 2010. (spectator.org)

Related video: Happy Birthday, union-backed, tax-funded fraud group!

AmeriFraud: ACORN, AmeriCorps joined at the hip ... The cynical, politically motivated, and apparently illegal firing of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin shocks the conscience. I'm not going to examine here the circumstances surrounding the termination of Walpin but I do wish to remind readers that AmeriCorps has long been ripe for abuse. ACORN took advantage of the federal agency a decade ago. As I wrote previously, ACORN, which is now notorious for its commingling of funds within its network of affiliates, used government resources to promote legislation. A congressional report noted that there was "apparent cross-over funding between ACORN, a political advocacy group and ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC), a non profit, AmeriCorp [sic] grantee" that is a major affiliate of ACORN. The government-funded AmeriCorps, which promotes public service, suspended AHC's funding "after it was learned that AHC and ACORN shared office space and equipment and failed to assure that activities and funds were wholly separate." (spectator.org)

U.S. gets crash course in leveling ... Our Founding Fathers gave us a limited federal government, a constitutional republic, which requires objectively moral citizens and leaders to survive. Responsible, rugged individualism gave us a thriving capitalistic economy, national pride and patriotism. Objective truth/morality has been replaced by subjective moral relativism. Our economy was damaged, not by George Bush, but by FDR, Lyndon Johnson and liberal legislators. The "affordable housing" fiasco started by Jimmy Carter and expanded by crooked politicians like Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and Chuck Schumer caused the economic crash. Enter Obama, a narcissistic, egotistical Chicago politician who fancies himself as a modern day robbing hood. He never managed any enterprise -- not even his quest for unbridled, unconstitutional power -- yet he feels he knows best how to run banks, financial institutions, car companies and health care. He warned us that he didn't like our Constitution as written and would steal wealth for redistribution. His big government boondoggles and unfathomable debt will destroy the finances and liberty of all Americans, their children and grandchildren. (chronicle.augusta.com)

Gov't union to dissident strikers: Get lost ... I am so tired of hearing about the CUPE strike and who is to blame for it all. Is it the city, like CUPE says, or is the city doing the right thing considering the state our economy is in? I say, the city is right. Who in their right mind would try to strike at this time?Not once have I heard that the unions are laying off some of the workers that we have and yet, there are thousands of workers laid off, taking less pay, doing the three-and-four-day workweeks. But, the union still takes their full months worth of unions dues and for what? When a call was put into the national about the union's dues still being the same when at the time they were only working half the month, the workers were told, "If you don't like it, go find a non-union job." Thanks for that advice and glad to see our union dues are going for a good cause. (canada.com)

"Progressive" really means "union-only" ... When a company called Ausra filed plans for a big solar power plant in California, it was deluged with demands from a union group that it study the effect on creatures like the short-nosed kangaroo rat and the ferruginous hawk. BrightSource Energy, which built a solar generating complex in the Negev Desert in Israel, above, has similar plans for California. By contrast, when a competitor, BrightSource Energy, filed plans for an even bigger solar plant that would affect the imperiled desert tortoise, the same union group, California Unions for Reliable Energy, raised no complaint. Instead, it urged regulators to approve the project as quickly as possible. One big difference between the projects? Ausra had rejected demands that it use only union workers to build its solar farm, while BrightSource pledged to hire labor-friendly contractors. (heraldtribune.com)

Labor-state blues: GOP scores SEIU thuggery ... The California Republican Party seemed to hit political paydirt in a YouTube ad that pilloried the Service Employees International Union for "bullying state leaders in the budget process." The ad featured footage of an angry woman telling lawmakers that union members would work to defeat lawmakers who didn't vote their way. It turns out that the woman portrayed as an SEIU union leader in the commercial is a home health care worker from Fresno named Lisa Brown, who works for the state by caring for her son who has Down syndrome. Brown, who is an SEIU member but not a union official, said: "Your attempt to label me a 'union bully' would be hilarious if it weren't so dangerous to people that I love.'" The GOP ran the video to counter a $1 million SEIU advertising blitz featuring a television commercial that urges lawmakers to consider taxes on oil extraction, cigarettes and alcohol to avoid social services cuts. In the selected clip in the GOP ad, Brown hardly treads easily on lawmakers: "We helped to get you into office, and we got a good memory," she says angrily at a legislative budget hearing. "And come November, if you don't back our program, we'll help to get you out of office." (sacbee.com)

Related video: Gov't unions bullying labor-state leaders

Anti-business President highlights accomplishments ... Aiming to shore up his party's congressional majority in 2010, President Obama raised $3 million for Democratic groups responsible for House and Senate elections Thursday by highlighting his own accomplishments but insisting he's not done with the "marathon." The dinner attendees donated between $5,000 and $30,400 each, and the total sum was to be split between two committees. The Republican National Committee was quick to point out what it labeled a hypocritical action by the Obama administration, with RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele blasting the committees for banning lobbyist cash for one night only. Mr. Obama's campaign and the Democratic National Committee don't accept donations from lobbyists. The DCCC and DSCC don't have such a ban, but did not allow lobbyists at Thursday's event. They, however, have planned a "policy" event Friday where lobbyists could attend and contribute. (washingtontimes)

"Obama believes in the free market" ... President Obama's White House swatted back at former President George W. Bush's critique of the administration's economic and national security policies with a reminder that Mr. Obama won the election and had to take over a fiscal mess. Mr. Bush on Wednesday in Pennsylvania challenged Mr. Obama's fiscal policies, saying he thinks the private sector is in a better position to lead the nation from the recession. "President Obama inherited an economic catastrophe," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said. "President Obama believes the free market is what governs our economic principles." (washingtontimes.com)

No daylight between Barney Frank and Barack Obama ... House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) told CNSNews.com that he agrees with President Barack Obama that there are countries where government-run, single-payer health care systems work well. Frank specifically cited "Scandinavia" as an example. In a speech before the American Medical Association on Monday, Obama said, “I’ll be honest, there are countries where a single-payer system works pretty well.” While Obama did not name a country where he thinks government-run health care works well, Frank told CNSNews.com on Thursday that he agreed with the president. It works in “Scandinavia,” said Frank. (cnsnews.com)

Blockbuster public pension fraud exposed ... A California union boss is under investigation for soliciting bribes from financial firms who wanted to invest in Big Labor's pet political projects. Sean Harrigan, a former top official with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFWC) union, was also a board member of California's massive public pension fund (CalPERS). Instead of working to safeguard workers' pension plans, however, Harrigan used his position to steer lucrative state investments toward financial firms who agreed to contribute to the UFCW's political programs. Keep in mind that these are the same union bosses who routinely disburse millions of dollars in compulsory union dues from employees across the country. Harrigan himself was the former Executive Director of the UCFW - do you think he was any more trustworthy with workers' dues than he was with California's pension fund? The answer, of course, is no. Corruption is endemic to Big Labor's massive political fundraising apparatus, and this sordid incident of corruption is just one more example why union bosses should not be given the power to force workers to pay dues or be fired. (nrtw.org)

Obama sets Leftwing non-profit money-grab ... Imagine that the president comes knocking at your door. He informs you that when you took a mortgage interest deduction from your taxes last year, you received a federal subsidy. As a consequence, you have to now meet new federal demands – renovating a kitchen, for example, would require union labor. The upstairs den would have to become a living room. A group of liberal activists is trying to do just that to charitable organizations. The National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy (NCRP) outlined its plan in a March report called “Criteria for Philanthropy at its Best,” penned by a former staffer for the left-wing non-profit group Media Matters for America. The NCRP report argued that “foundation dollars should be viewed as 'partially public',” and that “the generous tax subsidies provided to donors and to foundations make the government and the public partners with philanthropists in pursuit of the public good." The document's original draft urged policymakers to use it as a blueprint for new laws on foundations, apparently to steer more of their money toward liberal non-profits. For example, at least 50 percent of a foundation's annual grant money would be required to go to non-profits that “benefit lower-income communities, communities of color, and other marginalized groups” and 25 percent to promote “advocacy, organizing and civic engagement to promote equity, opportunity and justice.” (washingtonexaminer.com)

International Collectivism

Chávez recommends socialism to Obama again ... Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has again urged President Barack Obama to adopt socialist principles to see the United States through the ongoing economic crisis. Speaking on Thursday on his new television program, Hello President, Chávez said the U.S. administration has taken some interesting steps in attempting to counter the "difficult crisis." He said that in Venezuela, socialism and well-timed state measures have helped the country save its "healthy national economy and healthy national bank in contrast with other world powers." "I recognize Obama's good intentions, but will repeat once again: Unite with socialism! Obama, join socialism and we'll see if we can really change the world." He warned that "capitalism will kill the world." (turkishweekly.net)

Marxist "Liberation Theology" makes a comeback ... Evidently, the Obama campaign’s success has attracted imitators. From the People’s Weekly World: "The Communist Party USA has established a new Religion Commission to strengthen its work among religious people and organizations. In its leadership are activists representing various religious traditions from around the country. Tim Yeager, a Chicago trade unionist and a member of the Episcopal Church, serves as its chair. “We want to reach out to religious people and communities, to find ways of improving our coalition work with them, and to welcome people of faith into the party,” Yeager said." I hesitate to say that “reaching out to religious people” is ever a bad thing, but… if this means a renewed effort to demonstrate some kind of compatibility between Marxism and Christianity, then we’ve seen this movie before. It was called liberation theology and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith pretty well settled the question back in 1984 and 1986 (at least as far as Catholics are concerned) in documents promulgated by the man who is now Pope Benedict XVI. The CDF carefully distinguished genuinely Christian forms of ‘liberation theology’ from objectionable versions, but it explained clearly that and why the categories of Marxist analysis and Christian theology are fundamentally incompatible. (blog.acton.org)
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